The View
from Here:

    Ellen Lampert-Greaux lives in Petite Saline and is the new editor-in-chief of Harbour Magazine, and when she's not organizing the St. Barth Film Festival, or writing for various magazines, she turns her all-seeing eye upon local happenings.

    April '06
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    BUSY, BUSY, BUSY
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    Here it is mid-April, okay almost late April, and my readers must be wondering where I've been. Well I'll tell you. I've been busy, busy, busy. My day job took me off island, first to Toronto for the opening of the stage version of The Lord of The Rings, whose cast and crew is slightly larger than the population of Saint Barth. At least it seems that way.... then off to Louisville, for a theatre conference and the Humana Festival of new plays, where I saw a very intellectual conceit about the art of Joseph Cornell, directed by Anne Bogart. Then back to Saint Barth, to get ready for the 11th annual St. Barth Film Festival, which takes place at the end of this month. In the meantime, my granddaughter, Melissa, came for a visit, her first on her own (without mom!). That led to 10 days of sailing, swimming, eating, shopping, (did I mention eating?), and seeing the island through the eyes of a 13 year-old. Which isn't really possible, of course, as I was relegated to the old-fogy category several times. She was here over Easter weekend and thought it might be fun to camp out on the beach, an annual lapse in sanity by the local population. At my age, the comfort of my queen size bed beats sleeping in a hot tent on a bug-infested beach any day, and even the idea of camping out makes me retreat beneath the sheets. I marvel every year at the army of people who think it's fun to fill up a pick-up truck with tents, chairs, tables, cook stoves, pots and pans, cases of water, casseroles of food, thousands of chicken legs and hamburgers, flashlights, sleeping bags, pillows, towels, tarpaulins, boogie boards, and assorted paraphernalia, and stake their claim on one beach or another for the Pascal holiday. The work alone would be enough to deter most sane people. But every year by the Thursday before Good Friday, the beaches are full of intrepid campers out to enjoy themselves with their friends and families. Maybe it's the break in the routine that makes them do it. But if you ask me it would be a lot easier to just exchange houses for the weekend, if a change of pace is the goal. We managed one picnic and that alone took all but the army corps of engineers to get us organized. But all kidding aside, camping on Easter weekend is a treasured tradition in Saint Barth, and perhaps it serves as a necessary segue from the winter season into the hotter, lazier days of summer. In any case, everyone is now safely back at home gearing up for the onslaught of activities over the next few weeks. First up is the annual marbles competition, whose winners feed into the regional, then national level. If you haven't seen this, you must stop by the parking lot at the Match supermarket in St. Jean and check it out. Then comes the film festival, the arrival of the Transat Ag2r transatlantic boat race, the annual theatre festival, and an International Book Day sandwiched in there someplace. We're about to host more than 20 filmmakers, cinematographers, producers, actresses, and camp followers for the film festival. If I survive, I'll tell you all about it!

    More to come,
    Ellen Lampert-Greaux
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